From Russia With Love - Part 1

Sunday 3 May 2009

"Before you can disembark, a couple of Russian officals are now going to board the plane to check for pig flu..." the Captain reassured us just after we landed in Moscow.
At that point two officious ladies wearing face masks came onto the plane and began walking up and down the isle pointing a gun at vairous people and firing!  Thankfully this was only a guage to test body temperature, but it was a bit worrying to say the least!
No one was escorted off, and with that we walked into the terminal at Moscow, Domodedovo airport, and we had officially arrived in Russia.
Visas were stamped, luggage collected and within minutes we were on board the airport express and on our way into the city.

The appartment is very nice, and it's clean.  It's about 20 mins walk up from Red Square.  It has all the mod cons - running water, electricity - that sort of thing!  Oh and it has a toilet too, so that's useful.

We were told to be at the Arena at 8.30 this morning to get our accreditations, as rehearsals were starting at 9.30.  Sadly, the whole thing was a complete shambles when we got there and we had to wait nearly THREE HOURS outside the hall before they could let us in to be accredited!  So I Missed Montenegro (which I was annoyed  about) and The Czech Republic (probably a blessing is disguise!).  However we finally did get in in time to see Mr Belarus and his blonde mullet shake thier stuff on the fabulous stage.

The stage is HUGE!  It's very VERY impressive.  It's also a 2 minute walk from the press centre, so that's all good.   The staff inside are all very helpful, although virtually no-one speaks english.  The press working are is fab, though, and we get free Eurovision juice!!!  I had a carton of apple today, which was yummy!

The Metro system is vast, and all the signage is in cyrillic, so it's a bit of pot-luck really where you end up, but we're managed it well so far.

So, onto todays rehearsal highlights... SWEDEN!!!  Well, I loved it, even if it now sounds a bit different without the pre-recorded choral backing track.  Armenia were fab but - alas - the dance doesn't feature anywhere in the performance (think they've missed a trick with that).  Of the others today, Turkey was lacklustre, but Switzerland superb!

This evening we had a fab meal near Red Square, then walked down to the famous landmark and stood there in awe of how spectactular it really is.  St Basil's at night was just breathtaking.

So there you go.   More soon from behind the not-so-much-iron-more-net curtain.


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